Meet The New Huckster, Same As The Old Huckster

During last week’s gubernatorial debate in Duluth, Governor Dayton referred to the Iron Range has having been victimized by “hucksters” with hare-brained economic development schemes to try to compensate for the crash of the mining industry.

Yesterday on their show blog, Jack and Ben (who, notwithstanding working for the lesser talk station, have been on fire this past week or so) discovered something important; exactly who one of the key “hucksters” was:

The smoking gun is a January 1986 document titled “Housing and Community Development Briefs” authored by the Minnesota Department of Energy and Economic Development and several other organizations. According to the document: “The Department of Energy and Economic Development recently approved [a direct, fixed-interest rate, fixed asset new/expanding business loan].” The publication then lists several businesses that were recipients of the loans, including Lakewood Industries [the company that built the chopstick factory]. It states, “Lakewood Industries, a startup company expected to create 76 jobs in the next two years, received final approval for a $250,000 loan.”

Now, Dayton was Minnesota Department of Energy and Economic Development commissioner from 1978-79, and again from 1983-86.  In other words, his fingerprints are all over the infamous Chopstick Factory. 

Now, $250,000 might not seem like all that much compared to the $5 million in total financing, including $3 million from the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board (IRRB).

But the story doesn’t end there (emphasis added):

So let’s look at the IRRRB. The Director of Economic Development of the IRRRB during the chopstick factory fiasco was Mark Phillips. Mark Phillips was intimately involved in the details of the chopstick project, according to a statement he provided in a Chicago Tribune article from June 5, 1998: “They [the Japanese] wanted real white wood with no stain to it. We have a good species here, real white wood that veneers well.” And a December 8, 1986 Associate Press article shows that Mark Phillips was keenly aware of the financing the IRRRB had provided to the project.

So what happened to Mark Phillips? In 2011, Mark Dayton appointed him Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.

Once a boondoggler, always a boondoggler; Phillips was a prominent supporter of public funding for both the Vikings stadium and the Saint Paul Saints ballpark in Saint Paul. 

As to Governor Messinger Dayton?

6 thoughts on “Meet The New Huckster, Same As The Old Huckster

  1. Speaking of hucksters. When he was the Mysterious MDE, disgraced scumbag Michael Brodkorb lied about his connections with the GOP.

    Evidently Mitch, you maintain a cordiality with that waste of flesh; can you ask him if the DFL is paying him now, or is his current scumbaggery just a symptom of the dry drunk he’s on?

    I don’t expect him to tell the truth, why start now, right? But it would be useful to get his lie into the record.

  2. At least Swiftee’s not afraid of going on record.
    “I’m glad I moved to South Carolina because McFadden doesn’t stand a chance.”
    Thomas Swift

  3. If Emery *isn’t* Kreapy Gleason, you couldn’t tell them apart when they’re wearing their soiled undapants on their heads.

  4. You would think that one of those fine up-and-coming journalists at the Minnesota Daily would have dug into this. Dayton isn’t an alumni, after all.
    Self-dealing is a part of government. The more money government spends, the more self-dealing there will be. It turns out that two dem senators, Shaheen and Hagan, voted for Obama’s stimulus and benefited personally from the tax dollars they voted to spend.
    If Obama was more willing to spread the wealth to GOP senators he might have been able call the stimulus a bi-partisan bill. What an idiot. Obama is simply a poor politician.

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